Natacha Akshoomoff

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OBJECTIVE To quantify developmental abnormalities in cerebral and cerebellar volume in autism. METHODS The authors studied 60 autistic and 52 normal boys (age, 2 to 16 years) using MRI. Thirty autistic boys were diagnosed and scanned when 5 years or older. The other 30 were scanned when 2 through 4 years of age and then diagnosed with autism at least 2.5(More)
MRI and autopsy evidence of early maldevelopment of cerebellar vermis and hemispheres in autism raise the question of how cerebellar maldevelopment contributes to the cognitive and social deficits characteristic of autism. Compared with normal controls, autistic patients and patients with acquired cerebellar lesions were similarly impaired in a task(More)
CONTEXT Autism most commonly appears by 2 to 3 years of life, at which time the brain is already abnormally large. This raises the possibility that brain overgrowth begins much earlier, perhaps before the first clinically noticeable behavioral symptoms. OBJECTIVES To determine whether pathological brain overgrowth precedes the first clinical signs of(More)
Cross-sectional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have long hypothesized that the brain in children with autism undergoes an abnormal growth trajectory that includes a period of early overgrowth; however, this has never been confirmed by a longitudinal study. We performed the first longitudinal study of brain growth in toddlers at the time symptoms(More)
Over the last 2 centuries, the predominant view of the cerebellum has been that it is part of a motor control system. Evidence is now presented that the neocerebellum, the evolutionarily newest region of the cerebellum, may also be involved in a key mental operation: the voluntary shift of selective attention between sensory modalities. It is theorized that(More)
Structural MRI allows unparalleled in vivo study of the anatomy of the developing human brain. For more than two decades, MRI research has revealed many new aspects of this multifaceted maturation process, significantly augmenting scientific knowledge gathered from postmortem studies. Postnatal brain development is notably protracted and involves(More)
The serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4, MIM 182138) is a candidate gene in autistic disorder based on neurochemical, neuroendocrine studies and the efficacy of potent serotonin transporter inhibitors in reducing ritualistic behaviors and related aggression. An insertion/deletion polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) in the promoter region and a variable number of tandem(More)
Language delay and impairment are salient features of autism. More specifically, there is evidence of atypical semantic organization in autism, but the functional brain correlates are not well understood. The current study used functional MRI to examine activation associated with semantic category decision. Ten high-functioning men with autism spectrum(More)
OBJECTIVE To test the hypothesis that a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) brain measures obtained during early childhood distinguish children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) from typically developing children and is associated with functional outcome. METHOD Quantitative MRI technology was used to measure gray and white matter volumes(More)
The coordination of the direction of selective attention is an adaptive function that may be one of the many anticipatory tools under cerebellar control. This chapter presents neurobehavioral, neurophysiological, and neuroimaging data to support our hypothesis that the cerebellum plays a role in attentional functions. We discuss the idea that the cerebellum(More)